Synopsis by Mark Deming
A handful of girls struggle to make their way into the man's world of an Iranian soccer stadium in this comedy from writer and director Jafar Panahi. World Cup season is just around the corner, and Iran's team is playing a game against Bahrain that will determine who will be competing in soccer's greatest tournament. Nearly everyone in Tehran seems to be abuzz with excitement over the game, through officially soccer in Iran is quite literally for men only -- no women are allowed inside the stadium, and women's interest in the game is severely frowned upon. But that doesn't stop a number of girls from all over the city from trying to crash the game dressed up as boys; while some succeed, others are unable to fool security, and are sent to a holding bullpen in the stadium where they can hear the cheers of the crowd but can't see the game. One of the policemen watching over the girls (who range from rowdy tomboys to quiet and bookish types) is sympathetic and keeps them updated on the score and key plays, while another is a petty bureaucrat who suffers the mockery of his "prisoners." Offside received its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival.
disguise, guard, Iran, sexism, soccer, world-cup
High Artistic Quality